Mont Bell Ultralight Umbrella

Ah yes… the umbrella. Now you think I'm completely insane.

This was one of the bigger leaps for me into Ultralight. Now that I've weathered a few rain storms with my brolly, I'm utterly sold. It weighs only 5.6 oz., yet is one of the most versatile pieces of rain gear I own. Down pours bounce off the brolly as you hike along. Cooking in the rain and setting up camp is easy with the shelter of an umbrella.

You have to be confident enough to stave off the weird looks you'll get on the trail, but the rewards are worth it.

The one downside for me, is I have to stow my poles when using the umbrella. Small price to pay.

Available from Back Country Gear for $35. Sell your fancy $400 gortex jacket on ebay.

11 thoughts on “Mont Bell Ultralight Umbrella

  1. Pauline Garstang

    You could save a few ounces with Bartell’s “skinni mini” from Raines. It weighs 4.5 ounces, folds to 8.5 inches and it’s only $11.99. Not sure how tough it would be in a strong wind though!

  2. Rod Braithwaite

    Your notes on the West Coast Trail said that you figured out how to secure the brolly to your pack, leaving your hands free to use your trekking poles. Any tips or suggestions on how you did that? Please and thanks in advance.

    Rod.

  3. brett Post author

    We secured the brollies using the chest-strap of our Jam packs. Normally I don’t wear the chest-strap – and it was a candidate for pruning.

    it’s pretty easy – just close the chest strap, then put umbrella handle against your right shoulder and secure with the strap. i’ll post a photo when i have a little more time.

  4. anna

    hi pauline,

    i’ve looked online for the even smaller and cheaper umbrella you recommend but i can’t find it – do you have a link? or does anyone else?

    thanks.

    sincerely,
    anna

  5. Paul Steele

    Interesting…if we had more rain here in the Inland Northwest I might think more about the umbrella option.
    How about a hat umbrella??
    Don’t know how much these weigh but you get 2 for 11 bucks and they’ll see you coming down the trial for sure…LOL!!

    http://www.theumbrellahat.com/index.html

    Paul in Spokane

  6. Mark

    Brett, I have read your WCT blog (very informative! thanks!) and am considering the umbrella option. But I still don’t fully understand the benefit. I use a very light, somewhat breathable, inexpensive, non-rugged cycling rain jacket and a rain hat. I’m thinking this has the advantages of: hands free, better visibility upward (maybe not relevant hiking in rain), fairly light weight, not prone to wind issue. The umbrella option seems nice for non-sweaty!, good for cooking, hands free when done well.

    What I don’t understand is how it handles in the wind. I’m assuming there was plenty of wind on you WCT trip. Was a light weight brolly stable in the wind? Didn’t rain blow in under it?

    I guess I’m used to rain and wind together and holding an umbrella at an angle.

  7. brettm

    mark – the WCT is fairly sheltered – esp the inland routes. the days were we on the beach we didn’t have big winds – just hard rain. if definitley recommend taking the brolly – take it in addition to your jacket and experiment a bit.

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